Michael Massaia started this series of beautiful night photographs of New York's Central Park as a way of coping with severe insomnia. He'd walk alone with up to 50 pounds of kit and no interruptions—except for an occasional attempted mugging, solicitation or dog attack.
All of the images were shot using an 8"x10", 5"x7", and 4"x5" View camera and captured on slow black and white film, which was then custom developed and printed on special paper. The enlarged negatives and masks are used for contact printing. Here he talks us through his experiences and processes:
"I would commonly walk through the park alone at all hours of the night secretly hoping to find another fellow insomniac to share the late night walks with but never did. What I did find was a landscape that seemed to go through a complete metamorphosis between the hours of 2am-and 6am."
"I began drawing up/storyboarding areas of the park that seemed to show the most severe contrast of the surrounding life in the city met by the most isolating areas in the park. I would then use these drawings as my blueprints in creating the photographs."
"I currently make platinum prints at 42"x54" for all of the images in the portfolio. I do multiple hand coatings of platinum and palladium emulsions on cotton paper. Exposures are made using large single point metal halide light source shot onto a vacuum frame where the negative and masks are pin-registered and compressed together during the exposure."
"A large amount of light dodging is done during the exposure. All of the images are one-shot scenes (no composites). I always work alone and never outsource any part of the process."
Michael Massaia is a fine art Photographer and Printmaker who has spent the past nine years documenting areas and objects that never extend to far from his front door. Isolation, disconnection, and an attempt to put a spotlight on the ordinary is the constant in all of his work.
Michael specializes in large format black and white film image capture, and large format Platinum printing, Silver Gelatin Printing, as well as digital image capture and printmaking. All of his images are true "one shot" scenes (his images are never composited from multiple exposures). Michael works alone and is the sole craftsman from the instant the negative is exposed to the moment the final print is made.
You can visit his website here.
This is part of a series in which we are featuring futuristic, alien-looking or just plain awesome images of landscapes, cityscapes, and objects. If you are a photographer with such work, please drop me a line here.